An illegal alien who had been arrested multiple times faces attempted murder and other charges after breaking into the home of a California woman while she was sleeping and raping her.
The woman tragically passed away in a local hospital where she was receiving treatment for severe injuries incurred in the violent home invasion struggle about a week after the incident.
The suspect, Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez, 29, allegedly assaulted the woman in her residence with a hammer and is currently being held on $1 million bail in Santa Barbara County Jail on charges that include attempted murder, burglary, and assault with intent to commit rape, the Santa Maria Times explained.
Cops captured the man — who is apparently on probation for a May 2014 bust — that same night in another home in the area that he had broken into.
According to a KEYT Santa Barbara report on the incident, the suspect “was in the country illegally and has been arrested four times in the last two years for narcotics violations.”
The victim, Marilyn Pharis, 64, of Santa Maria, reportedly died from a coronary embolism; the coroner plans to conduct an autopsy tomorrow which may determine if the suspect will be charged with murder.
“We’re proud of her because she fought back, and she fought back enough that the police were able to identify her attacker,” said Pharis’ sister-in-law.
The suspect in the crime, who pleaded not guilty, is due back in court on August 13. “It is unclear why Ramirez was still in the U.S. or whether he has been deported or has a removal order pending against him,” The Daily Caller, which claims the suspect is from Mexico, noted.
Another police official added more information about the incident that apparently led to the death of Marilyn Pharis.
“We have a citizen that lost her life, its serious, when you look at it, we don’t care what the circumstances were, we’re going to do what we need to do to get our facts and bring this individual to justice…if there are extenuating circumstances that arise as a result of that, that he’s an undocumented immigrant, then we will let the proper authorities address those issues when they present themselves.”
Police have subsequently taken into custody an 20-year-old man who was an alleged accomplice in the crime.
Authorities scheduled a press conference for 1 p.m. on Friday to provide further information about the investigation.
[Photo by Larry W. Smith/Getty Images News]